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Da Hawk

Da Hawk says "When visiting Southeastern Wisconsin be sure to visit the Museum of Signs in this Tree " (fake ad)

The caricature above was done for my good friend Neal, who was known as Da Hawk during his football career. I call it a fake ad but in reality it's an FPO until I can find some time to create some "real fake ads" (oxymoron intended) in this column. By the way, please forgive the pun regarding a famous Chicago museum.


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Kenosha Festival of Cartooning

Tall Tale Radio

The Mad World of Tom Richmond

Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee by John Hambrock

Prickly City by Scott Stantis

Chicago Tribune Editorial Cartoons by Scott Stantis

The Cagle Post by Daryl Cagle

Funday Morning by Brad Diller

Bill Abbott Cartoons

Wages of Sin by Keith Brown

Entities-R-Us by Terri J. Garofalo

Sour Grapes by Tim Jones

Ruben Gerard Illustration

Table 38 by Richard M. Dominguez

(Jeffrey S. Page, CEO)

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at The Ohio State University

Stripped - The Comics Documentary

Webcomic Alliance

National Cartoonists Society




By trade, I was an engineer and a fairly well-organized one at that. As a result, the development of my very first comic strip, Moon Crazy, progressed relatively well. But, because I was learning on-the-job nearly every step of the way I found it necessary to establish procedures, standards and templates so that I could remember what to do and/or make things go faster the next time around. For example, I ... created a thick paperboard template for laying out the blue lines on my drawing paper, created a sheet of paper that showed sample lines from each of my brushes and Rapidograph lettering pens, noted the settings for my new-fangled hand-held scanner, developed procedures for how to add color using Photoshop, established a custom palette for those colors, set-up MS Word formats for printing my logos on envelopes and stationery. All this and more, including copies of all of the syndicate submission guidelines are held in a binder that still sits behind me on my book case.

Although I haven't used the binder much lately it certainly helped when I started developing my second strip, House. Not having to reinvent the wheel saved me a lot of time that I was able to dedicate to evaluate and refine the strips that were ultimately submitted. No, the results weren't any better but at least I knew that I did a better job this second time around.

Now, as I experiment with editorial cartoons, a new web comic strip and cartoons for magazines - all using a Wacom Cintiq - I'm finding that organization plays just as an important role. First off, I created computer template files for each type of work. For example, if I'm working on a new editorial cartoon I merely open the master template, save it as a new file name, and customize the layers, which are aptly named ... guidelines, lettering, roughs, inking, signature, colors, etc.

Often, I'll split some of the layers into multiple layers for a similar activity. For example, my inking activity might actually be split into three layers: "inking main character", "inking room furniture" and "inking background". This is helpful in that I never have to worry about erasing something that needs to stay when it overlaps something that needs to change.

Colorizing is almost always done on separate layers so that lines aren't erased when editing colors. Also, colors are usually added as a layer below the line work so that borders are sharp and clearly defined.

I have a blue line lettering layer which takes the place of the old Ames lettering guides from days of yore. I also like to use a "rough" lettering layer. After I rough in the dialog I'm able to move each line as needed - individually - so that each one is centered left-to-right. In addition, I'm able to move the entire set of lines (with or without a dialog balloon) around on the panel until I find the ideal location.

Obviously, the blue line lettering layer and any other "rough" layers are turned off before saving my work as the finished file.

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Copyright © 2016 Alan Rozanski - Wallmarkmedia All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication, reproduction or cloning is strictly prohibited. But then, how the heck would I know if you're using one of my comics as wallpaper on your personal computer? Of course, if you do and you feel guilty about it you can always send me a check in the amount of your choice (minimum of 3 digits on the left side of the decimal point).